For power and range of imagination, for freshness and vividness of conception, for truth and originality of presentation, few Roman poets can compare with him when he is at his best.
Minute details and traits of character are portrayed with a vividness which bears all the marks of contemporary narrative.
The peculiar art therein is that while the discords owe their intelligibility and softness to the smooth melodic lines by which in " resolving " they prove themselves but transient rainbow-hues on or below the surface, they owe their strangeness to the intense vividness with which at the moment of impact they suggest a mysteriously remote foreign key.
Is remarkable that in more than one passage of his poem Lucretius writes with extraordinary vividness of the impression produced both by dreams and by waking visions.
Others may have surpassed him in originality, learning or reasoning power, but for grasp of his subject, clearness of language, lucidity of arrangement, felicity of illustration, vividness of imagination, elegance of diction, and above all, for sympathy with the intellectual position of those whom he addressed, he has hardly been rivalled.
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